Before and After: A 2-Day, $150 Refresh Pumps up the Charm in this Boring Bathroom

published Dec 2, 2021
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Mid-century Modern
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: gray bathroom with beige tile floor and a three-part mirrored medicine cabinet
Credit: Emily Welch

Flipped homes can be great buys if you’re looking for something that’s up-to-date and doesn’t need any major renovations. But they don’t always pack a lot of punch when it comes to character. See: This tiny bathroom from the 1952 home of DIYer Emily Welch.

Credit: Emily Welch

While the small bathroom was functionally sound, Emily wasn’t wild about the fixtures and finishes the previous owners chose, calling the mirrored medicine cabinet “bulky” and “dated.” The gray wall color didn’t help the bathroom feel any more welcoming, either.

Credit: Emily Welch

Fortunately, it didn’t take a ton of time or money for Emily to turn her blah bathroom into a more inviting space. In fact, all Emily needed was two days and $150.

Emily started with fresh paint in a bright white shade (Sherwin-Williams’s Alabaster) that helped stave off the gloominess of the old gray. Then, she swapped that clunky mirrored medicine for a sleek black-framed arched mirror. A mini shelf added below helps make up for some of the storage lost; matching shelves above the toilet do, too, and give a space to display plants and decor.

Emily also replaced the boring vanity light for something with a little more charm. The new double globe vanity light has a mid-century vibe that fits with the home’s 1950s roots. Changing out a light was a first for Emily, who used YouTube as her guide.

Finally, Emily added some new decor and a cheery shower curtain. Keeping the major fixtures the same — toilet, sink, shower — and focusing on small tweaks helped Emily stick to her very modest $150 budget. But that’s not to say this project didn’t pack a punch. “It’s so much brighter and feels like a totally different space!” Emily says.

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